Home Features Features The Valley’s Most Powerful Men—2012 - Page 4


Craig DeMarco
This husband and father of two boys is a local restaurant tour de force who brought the likes of Postino (Arcadia, Central and East), Windsor and Churn to the Valley. DeMarco, founder of Upward Projects, is a huge proponent of all things local, working with Local First to encourage Arizona-based business and opening his restaurants in historically relevant buildings.

What does “power” mean to you?
The ability to create my own destiny. Creating new restaurants which in turn create new jobs; giving back to the community; being civically minded; and sharing valuable time with my partners who share common visions and goals.

What impact do you strive to have on the Valley?
We want to keep Phoenix unique and help preserve some if its history. We have spent more than 10 years dedicating our business model to working with repurposed, older buildings that have gone through the City of Phoenix’s adaptive reuse program, starting in 2001 with Postino Arcadia. We care deeply about the architectural integrity of our projects and work hard to create experiences instead of concepts. Our site-selection process is paramount to executing this, starting with finding the right historically relevant building, and becoming an active part of a vibrant community.

How do you balance kids, career and community?
By staying extremely fit. I need to have consistent energy and be able to work long, hard days. I give it my all at work, but always keep something in the tank so that I can be a present, energetic father and husband.

What are your future goals?
To continue to open new restaurants in the best neighborhoods in Arizona, and eventually become the best restaurant development company in the world. We created a management company called Upward Projects with our long-time partners Lauren and Wyatt Bailey in order to build a strong foundation for our creative talents to thrive. I would also like to train hard year-round and compete in a long-course Ironman race.

What superpower would you like to possess?
Teleportation, for sure. I hate driving.